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  • SafeGard Plating Products

Electroless Nickel Plating

Zincate-Free Plating, Safegard Plating & Electroless Nickel Available Directly from Sanchem

For years, both electroless nickel plating and direct plating on aluminum castings, magnesium, Zamak, and titanium was complicated long process that often ended in failure. SafeGard CC Plating Catalyst revolutionizes the plating industry by simplifying a process that requires less process tanks and less time. 

Electroless Nickel plating is now easier, less costly and more foolproof with SafeGard CC plating Catalyst. This zincate-free process system is stable, long lasting, easy to use, takes less time to apply and will reduce coating rejects, which increase the throughput of high quality parts. The electrochemical deposition of the “Plating Catalyst” is not directional and once the process starts, the film will deposit itself into any and all recessed areas or small holes.

SafeGard CC Plating catalyst is long lasting and requires only small product additions to maintain the proper concentration balance. This is due to the fact that the plating catalyst is applied very thin (only 100 – 200 nm). This means you will not have to waste time maintaining and recharging zincate tanks. Furthermore, you won’t need to spend time maintaining zincate inventory and use valuable floor space for storing costly zincate replacement and replenishing chemicals.

Furthermore the same SafeGard CC-Plating Catalyst is used for Electroless Nickel and other direct plating materials. Use this on aluminum, aluminum castings, magnesium, Zamak, niobium, beryllium, zinc, and titanium. When forming a copper plating layer over these metals, when using SafeGard CC- Plating Catalyst you will use a simple acid copper instead of a toxic cyanide copper.

ELECTROLYSIS NICKEL applied over SafeGard CC-Plating Catalyst

6061 aluminum 6061 Aluminum

beryllium Beryllium

magnesium AZ-91 Magnesium AZ-91

niobium Niobium

380 aluminum Cast 380 Aluminum

Electroless Nickel

SafeGard EN-MG is an easy to use long life mid-phos electroless nickel strike bath for use on magnesium and magnesium alloys. Only one product (SafeGard EN-MGMU)is added to water for make-up. Only one product (SafeGard EN-MGAD) is added to tank to replenish bath strength. The SafeGard EN-MG is specifically designed to be used in conjunction with the SafeGard Plating Catalyst.

SafeGard EN-AL is an easy to use electroless mid- phos electroless nickel strike bath for use on both wrought and cast aluminum alloys & titanium. Only one product (SafeGard EN-ALMU) is added to water for make-up. Only one product (SafeGard EN-ALAD) is added to tank to replenish bath strength. SafeGard EN-AL formula is designed to work specifically with our SafeGard Plating Catalyst.

titanium bolts Titanium bolt before and after being plated with "Electroless Nickel"


** Exceptional Bath Stability

** Long Bath Life: will give you 10-12 metal turnovers

** Consistent Plating Rates

** RoHS, WEEE, and ELV Compliant

** No Break-In Period

** Solution is self-pH regulating and as a result requires very little if any pH adjustment

** High Tolerance to Impurities

** Cyanide-Free

Plating and Electroless Deposition on the Light Metals

Sanchem’s SafeGard CC-Plating Catalyst process is now part of the ASTM B253 specification – "Standard Guide for the Preparation of Aluminum Alloys for Electroplating" which also covers the "electroless" deposition of metals on aluminum and its alloys by the use of "zincates".

Zincate or Stannate on Aluminum Cast Aluminum Sanchem Plating Catalyst
ASTM B253 specification 380 or 360 ASTM B253 specification
Preclean Step 1 Clean - Sanchem 500
Clean w/ fine etch (for Cu contain AL) Step 2 Cold Water Rinse
Cold Water Rinse Step 3 Desmut w/ Tri-acid
Smut removal & activation (15 - 30 sec) Step 4 Cold Water Rinse
Cold Water Rinse Step 5 Cold Water Rinse
Zincate (for 1.5 - 2.0 minutes) Step 6 Plating seal --- 3 seconds
Cold Water Rinse Step 7 Cold Water Rinse
Nitric acid 50% (5 - 20 sec): Step 8 Cold Water Rinse
Cold Water Rinse Step 9 Sanchem ENAL Aluminum EN
2nd Zincate (20 - 30 sec) Step 10 Heat @ 350°F - 30 minutes
Double Cold Water Rinse Step 11  
Acid Neutralize (5 - 10 sec (70°F)) Step 12 NOTE: If a copper layer is
desired then use acid copper
in step 9 then rinse and apply
the electroless nickel
Cyanide Copper strike Step 13
Cold Water Rinse Step 14
Acid Copper Plate Step 15  
EN Step 16  
Heat @ 350°F - 30 minutes Step 17  
What is the REAL Cost of your Current Zincate System?   Compare - have a better process for less
Zincate Process Use rate   Sanchem Plating Catalyst Use rate
double dip zincate for cast 360 & 380 sq ft/gal 50   Plating catalyst for cast 360 & 380 sq ft/gal 5,000
Process sq ft/year: For example: 142400   Process sq ft/year: For example: 142400
Gallons per year 2848   Gallons per year 29
Cost per gallon $   Cost per gallon $
Annual Product Cost
(not including disposal cost)
$   Annual Product Cost
(not including disposal cost)
Cost of disposal zincate (CN) (Hazardous CN waste) $   Cost of disposal - not hazardous not hazardous
Labor to clean out tank $   Labor to clean tank - very long lasting Negligible
Cost to monitor tank: 8X per day, Lab Tech, time $   Periodic - dry for solid content Negligible
labor to refill tank $   Additions are fast - very long lasting Negligible
cost of 2 extra acid rinses $   Not needed 0
cost to maintain of inventory
(Part A, Part B, & Part C)
$   Very little needed - low use rate
(1 product)
Cost to clean CN wastewater - chemicals & equip. $   Very little needed - low use rate Negligible
Cost of inventory control $   Very little needed - low use rate Negligible
Effect of drums freezing Total loss   Effect of drums freezing Thaw before use
Temperature constraints best at 75°F   Temperature constraints best at 75°F
Below 75°F: Slows process & poor coating quality problem   Below 75°F no problem
above 75: Loosely adherent film - poor adhesion problem   above 75 no problem
Can apply too much or too little coating Yes   Can apply too much or too little coating? (NOTE: Coating is self limiting) NO

Once applied, the organic based “Plating Catalyst” will more or less seal the metal from the outside elements and may, if so desired, be dried and stored in a clean dry area to be processed at a later date by simply soaking the parts in warm (100 – 120 degrees F) mineral free water for about 15 minutes, dipped in 1% aqueous ammonia for about ten seconds and then rinsed again to remove excess ammonia before going into the plating bath. Parts may be processed in a rotating basket if so desired.

Safegard CC-3400seal #2 is a RoHS compliant chromate free seal used on plated and unplated aluminum, zinc and magnesium. This final seal will help you achieve maximum corrosion resistance and paint adhesion.

Click here to download more information about SafeGard CC-3400Seal #2

Request a quote or call 1.800.621.1603 for more information